The year 2012 commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Committee) and the 13th anniversary of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (Optional Protocol).
Currently the CEDAW Committee has decided 27 cases under the Optional Protocol, which is a relatively small number compared with the Human Rights Committee, for example. It is a shared view of the CEDAW Committee that one of the main reasons why there are so few individual complaints under the Optional Protocol is that many women around the world are unaware of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and/or the Optional Protocol. Another reason is that domestic courts in various jurisdictions are not trained to utilize CEDAW, either. This website will definitely help to fill in such a blank, by serving as a tool to mobilize women to use the Optional Protocol.
At the same time, it is important that the CEDAW Committee’s views are exposed and subjected to analysis and/or criticism from the outside world. As both CEDAW and the Optional Protocol were born thanks to the worldwide women’s movement, it should be worthwhile for the CEDAW Committee to listen to the voices of her mother(s) and others.
As a member of the CEDAW Committee and the Working Group on Communications under the Optional Protocol, I very much appreciate the potential role of this website, and look forward to seeing more cases under the Optional Protocol, being stimulated by the same.
15 June 2012
Member of the CEDAW Committee (2008 to present) and the Working Group on Communications under the Optional Protocol (2009 to present)
* This guest post is written in Yoko Hayashi’s personal capacity and does not necessarily represent the views of the CEDAW Committee